‘The Resident’ EP: A Conrad & Billie Romance Is ‘On The Table’ & Cade Is ‘In Danger’

'The Resident' returned for the second half of season 5 on February 1. HL got EXCLUSIVE scoop from one of the show's EPs about Conrad's romantic future, Bell's diagnosis, and more.

Matt Czuchry
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The Resident’s February 1 episode was a poignant one for all of our favorite Chastain characters. Conrad met the woman who received Nic’s heart after she died, while Bell was left reeling after he learned what is wrong with him. So, what’s next for The Resident crew?

HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with executive producer Amy Holden Jones about what’s ahead throughout the rest of season 5. She stressed that Cade is “in danger,” and that’s why she’s so cryptic about her life. Amy also weighed in on Devon’s possible conflicts in his clinical trial and what’s going on with Conrad and Billie. Read our Q&A below:

Bruce Greenwood
Bruce Greenwood as Bell. (FOX)

We found out that Bell has multiple sclerosis, and he struggled with his diagnosis in the first episode. Going forward, what does his journey look like? What does his future in medicine look like?
Amy Holden Jones: MS is an interesting diagnosis this way because it can be very devastating quickly, or it can actually go into complete remission. So it leaves an open question of what situation he’ll be in. Also, when you meet him in this episode, he is unmedicated for it. He hasn’t been treated for it. So at the beginning of his journey, he has to be treated for it, see how that treatment works, and what he’s capable of still doing. His resolve that he won’t operate will be dependent upon how well the medication works.

Initially, he pushes Kit away. He doesn’t want to burden her with his. But in the end, she tells him how much she loves him and refuses to abandon him. What’s ahead for their relationship in the wake of his diagnosis?
Amy Holden Jones: We’re very invested in KitBell, obviously. It’s nice because the actors are, of course, happily married to other people, but they’re very close friends. So the warmth between them does come across on screen, and they work so beautifully together. We’re going to use them as much as we possibly can because they light up the screen. Also, these are two consummate actors. I think it’s really on display in the episode how unbelievably good they are. Real actors convey depths of emotion that draw you in so that you feel what they’re feeling with them. I think both Jane Leeves and Bruce Greenwood are at the top of their form of doing that.

We see Conrad and AJ go at Devon to try and get AJ’s mom into the clinical trial initially, but Devon never falters. He was tested a little bit with those two because they obviously view things a little bit differently than him. As he moves forward, will he be faced with any challenges that may have him lean more in that direction that Conrad and AJ live in?
Amy Holden Jones: Well, it’s a story to partly show these conflicts for Devon and to show his incredibly fascinating scientific side, another side of medicine, but it’s also to explore some of the issues of clinical trials. They are a heroic endeavor on the part of the people who participate in them. The success rate of clinical trials is like 5%. It’s quite low, but you could be in the 5%. They are a tool of science, and you cannot advance science without them. My supposition is that it’s as difficult as for Devon, for the people who run them, when it doesn’t go well. The story’s not over. It’s an ongoing story, and there’s a future episode about an incredibly sympathetic and marvelous patient who does get into the trial and what the course of the trial is for him, so we can tell all aspects of it. But it’s also to show you that there is a point in life where nothing more will work. In this case, Carol is already past a point and more debilitated that she couldn’t survive the rigors of the trials. These trials are not benign events necessarily. They can be physically and incredibly demanding. The drugs sometimes have to be temporarily toxic in order to work, so what Devon’s doing is morally correct. AJ ultimately understands that you have to figure out if the person has a real chance of benefiting. However, for Devon, there are two sides to that. What they are afraid he’s doing is something that does happen in clinical trials, which is they jerry-rig who’s in them to get a good effect and don’t include real patients who would get the drug. He’s kind of caught in that world. It’s a sophisticated dilemma. I hope the audience can grab some part of it. To do the right thing you can’t let in people who have no chance of benefitting but to do the right thing you also can’t only include the young and more healthy so that you get a good result. This was seen very recently in that big Alzheimer’s drug that was approved by the FDA and that they only tested it on people with early stages, actually mild cognitive impairment, which isn’t even yet technically Alzheimer’s. It had a very small benefit for them, then they approved it for somebody with Alzheimer’s when there’s no proof benefit whatsoever for people with actual Alzheimer’s. So that’s an example of how it can be rigged, unfortunately, by Pharma and by sometimes the CDC if they happen to have a lot of people who succumb to the pressure from Pharma.

I knew I was in for it when I saw the episode title: “Her Heart.” We meet the woman who received Nic’s heart. From the moment that you knew the trajectory of Nic’s storyline, was this storyline one you wanted to tell? 
Amy Holden Jones: No. Actually, that storyline was suggested by one of the staff writers, and we all immediately went for it. We all were immediately and said this is a brilliant idea. She actually is not a credited writer on the episode as it turns out. They get assigned to different episodes, and she didn’t happen to get assigned to this one. The assigned writers did a fantastic job executing it, Eric Lu and Marc Halsey. But the original idea came from Elizabeth Peterson, who is a member of one of the staff writers.

Jessica Lucas
Jessica Lucas as Billie. (FOX)

There’s definitely chemistry between Billie and Conrad. We see her watching Conrad and Gigi during that intimate moment with Hannah. Is a Billie and Conrad romance on the table? Is it off the table? What can you say about what’s going on between them?
Amy Holden Jones: It’s on the table, but what we’re doing is we’re presenting him with a bunch of options, which is the way it works in life. He has the potential new option of Cade. He has the long-term potential of Billie, who was both Nic’s friend and loved her as he did and also is very good with Gigi. There’s Marian, who has floated through and who knows who else, but the notion this season is it’s really about when is he ready for it? That’s what it’s more about. There’s an element in this season about how we handle grief, which is something we all deal with. Raptor will have to handle it vis-a-vis his mother, and Conrad has to handle it vis-a-vis Nic. You don’t stop loving someone if people expect you to move on immediately after someone dies. Some people can and some people can’t. Some people continue to love that person for the rest of their life forever. Everybody does but whether they can love someone else is an open story, and that’s part of the story of the season as Conrad grapples with that because he has Gigi to love. He has a woman in his life. Is there one for another one? Can someone else fill those shoes? And those are pretty big shoes to fill.

Cade is still being very cryptic about her past. Will we be getting answers about her backstory sooner rather than later?
Amy Holden Jones: You’ll get answers about her backstory. It’s not instant that you’ll get them. they come out in bits and pieces. The final answers are several episodes down the road, but her story and where she comes from plays heavily into the season arc, which kicks in more in the second half of the back.

Kaley Ronayne
Kaley Ronayne as Cade. (FOX)

Are these answers bad or good? I’m kind of scared.
Amy Holden Jones: Well, she’s in danger. I can say that. You will understand why she’s in danger, and you’ll come to understand and appreciate her bravery in what she’s done that has put her in danger and Conrad will as well. But she’s in danger. There are some very bad players involved in healthcare fraud that has nothing to do with doctors. There is an enormous amount of Medicare fraud and a huge amount of it is won by gangs, Mafia criminals of all kinds, and Medicare fraud is one of the elements of the thriller.

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